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Grateful Dead Live at Philadelphia Civic Center on 1984-04-20

Audio Preview

Grateful Dead Live at Philadelphia Civic Center on 1984-04-20

Topics Live concert

Feel Like A Stranger, Cold Rain & Snow, Beat It On Down The Line, Cumberland Blues, Little Red Rooster, Brown Eyed Women, My Brother Esau, It Must Have Been The Roses, Let It Grow Scarlet Begonias-> Fire On The Mountain-> Samson & Delilah-> Drums-> I Need A Miracle-> Morning Dew-> Around & Around-> Johnny B. Goode, E: Day Job

Collection GratefulDead
Band/Artist Grateful Dead
Venue Philadelphia Civic Center
Location Philadelphia, PA

Source Source Senn 441 > PCM Digital Audience (up-front) > DAT (SV3700) > DAT (Fostex D10) > CDR (Single WAV) >CDR-WAV (wav splits) > SHN (via MKWACT)


Source Senn 441 > PCM Digital Audience (up-front) >
DAT (SV3700) > DAT (Fostex D10) > CDR (Single WAV) >
CDR-WAV (wav splits) > SHN (via MKWACT); via JR Fishman


Reviewer: doug_the_dude - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 12, 2014
Subject: --
What a fantastic show - not just for doped-up '84, but for any period in the 80s I'd put this one up there. They're clearly in control and confident from the first note to the last, Jer remembers most of the words to everything, and there are moments when you think they're truly treading new ground....and *know* it.

Take that Let It Grow - yes, it just goes on and on and on - Jerry doesn't hurry the jam, but he clearly wants to show how much energy he has tonight, even if his voice is faltering; you can practically feel the grime and grease of this era's drug-haze the band was in; Bobby doesn't sound much better, for that matter....

....but it doesn't matter. Scarlet > Fire blisters (listen to the crowd go absolutely beserk when the band hits the big part of the jam), Jerry doesn't leave the fretboard at all for Samson, Drums > Space is indeed gorgeous, and Jerry doesn't have too many problems with da Dew, even though the back half of the set starts to show its seams a bit...

...but who cares! A great recording, intimate, if a bit tinny, and capturing everything great about the band during what otherwise is a pretty troubled year.
Reviewer: JamsOnly - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 19, 2012
Subject: What about the Space
Not a huge space fan, but this sounds out of this world.
Reviewer: njpg - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 21, 2011
Subject: 4.5
This is a killer show with lots of great recordings made of it, both AUD & SBD, but this one is the best for my taste, by a narrow margin: it's just a little crisper than the most recent one. Not an all-time favorite show, but very close.
Reviewer: colflyer - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 24, 2009
Subject: 17 years old....
So....I repost this, but change a few things. First, after 250 shows, there were shows that you wondered if Jerry or you would make it another day. This was on of those shows.

I am not some critique on audio and soundboards and all that, but what I can tell you is that this is as hot of a replication of a dead show as you can get.

On the playing side, my bus had come buy in hampton the prior year- same time. But this is the band at it nastiest and sweetest best. I don't know if Jer got some good from NYC and bob got some clean from Philly, and Phil had his case of Heineken or what, but the boys decided to play.

The crowd makes this show about what a dead show was all about, because they were in tuned with everything.

The venue is / was very small. I have a few great shows I have been at, but this (and the Hampton show) are 1 and 2.

Many people have different favs, but the Stranger/CRS; Let it Grow for the first set are smoking. Of course, the only reason to listen to this show is the best scarlet / fire post 79 ever.

I am bias of course, but somebody show me a better show / audience recording with something better for this era.
Reviewer: thebone - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 4, 2009
Subject: Philly Ph-un
I will say, as others have below, that this is an amazing show. First, the sound quality of this AUD is spectacular. Next, the first four songs out of the gate are just killer, and the Let it Grow to close the set is beautiful. The Scarlet> Fire is long and, in my opinion, one of the very best post-1977 versions, especially the segue between the two songs. Excellent Sampson, Miracle and Dew featured as well.
Reviewer: 8totheuniverse - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 23, 2007
Subject: I was 17 and almost lost it
I dont remember what but it was fine 25. I went to these shows with my friends. THis particular night I was wondering around up front when suddenly phil came out, the boys next and I was front row being pushed against the stage. The show was memorable for the fact that The civic center scene was amazing out side and in. I don' remember many more like it. The music was fatastic but in retrospect not as good as I always thought. I had the best time, it was a never ending evening that brought me to the brink of insanity and back again(during fire on the mountain) God bless Jerry and the civic center shows.
Reviewer: skuzzlebutt - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 14, 2006
Subject: High Quality '84 Vintage
This one makes it in into my player a surprising number of times each year considering I'm not a big fan of '84. I'm holding off on the fifth star only because I think the actual performance here is a very good one but not a true classic. The sound, however, is stunning, among the best audience tapes of the era. True, it's a tad weak on bass, but nothing a slight trun of the knob won't instantly remedey. I normally come down slightly in favor of soundboards in the board vs. audience argument (it depends on so many things: the mix, the venue, the performance, the taper) but more than once I have used this tape as a classic example of a show where most Heads would agree that the audience tape is clearly preferable to the soundboard. 1984 had a lot of nights where it seemed like the boys were just grinding things out by the numbers, but this show is proof that, even as messed up as Jerry was around this time, they could still produce some great music when focused.
Reviewer: smgarcia - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 30, 2006
Subject: Better than average AUD
This is one of those unique AUDs, almost perfect except that the low frequencies are drowned out. aka lots of treble, little bass. But it's a crisp sound.

I'm really familiar with dozens and dozens of shows, and this AUD is better than average. But not a 5 star show. Check out my other reviews
Reviewer: early 80's meltdown - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 6, 2006
Subject: This run and Providence take the cake for Spring '84
High energy show start to finish.
nice pull with a little echo from Hall captured.
Reviewer: Shut Up 'N' Play Yer Guitar - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 16, 2006
Subject: Recommended
Amazing sounding aud of a fantastic show.
Standout Let It Grow, and possibly the best Scarlet > Fire of the year.
Reviewer: gruUbic - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 4, 2006
Subject: GD 4/20 Spectrum Trip @ Civicentral
Recommended. Solid show - nothing too exotic. Many Props to the taper/s and equip for this recording -- very solid, not just for an 84 aud.

God bless tapers - although at times way moody folk - they are one of the BIGGEST reasons why we have a site like this to discuss/listen to the Dead in 2006.

Many Thanks to the brothers and sisters who went to shows with really big mics and Nakamichi decks...

Reviewer: Tiny Lights - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 19, 2006
Subject: Again?
All I can say about this is, I keep coming back to it. I've had it for a couple of weeks now and it's all I want to listen to. I listen to other shows, just to put on something different. But I've got the Philly Civic bug.

One reviewer called the Civic "funky, dirty and old." Sounds like the Kaiser, my fave.

Sound quality is as good as it gets (5) and the show is solid if not better (3+ or 4-)
Reviewer: reedha - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 7, 2006
Subject: my first show....! .....way to lose my virginity
outrageous that i finally tracked this one down, and what the friends said that i caught a good one but i really had no idea...on 4:20 to boot ....too cool. this is the best show i have so far and thats no lie... i do remember that the room was odd and you could easily walk right up front, not too crowded....the huge pa was sitting on the floor ( i think ), not on the stage, so phil shook the place like i never saw again in my 100+ shows since... i was one of those guys that did not like the dead AT ALL and could not understand why people would listen to these crappy recordings , and this night changed my mind instantly...blown away completely . thanks for the gem
Reviewer: Gomez1010 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 29, 2006
Subject: Special for Philly
It was a treat to see the Boys at the Civic Center - nice too that UPENN hospital was xcross the street for anyfreakouts..hahahah...This building was funky, dirty and old BUT FELT SMALL! This building NEVER held concerts - I think this run was their first and last attempt at hosting anything other than city or Penn related events - I checked out the balcony on this night(usually a floor rat) and felt like the thing was going to drop out from under us...I think everybody else up there did too which made it crazier...the acoustics were weird too but as a show to be AT these 3 outshone practically every Spectrum show. These 3 nights are a compliment to the previous Hampton shows which I think were just so FRIGGIN' ON and reverb box that Jerry "Fired" thru... THANKS to everyone who puts up the quality Aud's - I'll take'em everyday over a SBD, this f'n archive is a gigantic collective memory - and I am hooked....
Reviewer: capn doubledose - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 1, 2005
Subject: Spectacular
Start to finish this unknown gem kicks total ass. A must hear for a beat year. This let it grow is a tremendous, bring the house down version they are in no hurry to finish. One of the best of the 80's and the last setII version I am aware of.
Reviewer: Jason from Pennsyltucky - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 19, 2005
Subject: Stranger?
Hey JF, Is that you? You had the Sennheiser 441 shotguns? The show sounds great. I patched out of you down in Miami in 94' I prefer a fine audience over a SBD any day of the week and this is just what I was looking for. Thanks to the archive for making great shows like this easily available to us.
Reviewer: Law and Order - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 11, 2005
Subject: Great Birthday Memory
This was a great show. I remember that this stand featured three shows at the CC. I only had tickets for two of the nights and was bummed that I would be unable to attend the show on the 20th.

Hoping for a miracle, I got one when a friend was unable to attend the show . . . the ticket went to me.

I have been looking for this show for years and recently stumbled onto this site.


Great concert, excellent recording . . .

Does anyone have access to the third show???
Reviewer: other3 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 5, 2005
Subject: I missed the show, sick
I missed the show because I was too sick to make the trip. It's great to have really nice tapes of this show. Highlight for me: Cumberland. This is indeed a must have show.
Reviewer: lpenoza - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 1, 2004
Subject: I Love this show
And it sounds great in this aud recording which captures some of the rumble from Phil's relatively new Modulus Bass. I think people don't give enough credit to that Modulus for the awesome presence it gave the Dead's music at a time when the focus was Jerry's decline. This '84 show sounds thick and full - listen to that CR&S in Set1! The Scarlet->fire is tremendous, and the Let it Grow clocks in at 16 minutes!

Some sentimental value as well - this night was a huge one for me personally. I give it 5 stars 'cause it was a great show and this recording is sweeeet.
Reviewer: TERRAPINCANE - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 30, 2004
Subject: Terrific '84 show
An explosive Stranger to start the show, and a very welcomed CRS to follow!! Rockin' BIODTL and Cumberland, and a nice surprise with IMHBTRoses...HUGE Let it Grow, with slick jamming.
This Scarlet>Fire is tremendous, with very fluid playing and nice work from Brent. Miracle is hot, and Morning Dew is awesome. The roar of the crowd during Dew's opening notes is enough to give you chills...
I'm not a big fan of '84, but this show stands atop the heap of the year's best...
I had the SBD of this show for a long time, but thanks to archive, I get an opportunity to listen to the AUD....
Reviewer: Seperation of Dead and State - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 29, 2004
Subject: Emotional Aud
Forget the board (which is nice) this digital audience is what the GD is all about. Fire on the Mountain is the clear highlight with Garcia wailing like a bleeding goat....reach out and grab this beauty. 84 was such a neglected year..thanks to the archives this will no longer be the case! JF
In Collection
Grateful Dead
In Collection
Live Music Archive
Uploaded by
Jonathan Aizen
on 6/28/2004
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